'Bangladesh has always been in favour of open regionalism and the present political equations among the governments of these countries are conducive towards an effective implementation of the BBIN MVA'
Clear policy measures and regulatory framework were needed to unlock the potential of the Bangladesh, Bhutan, India, Nepal Motor Vehicles Agreement (BBIN MVA), said speakers at a seminar on Wednesday.
The seminar titled ‘Connectivity and Trade Facilitation in the BBIN Sub-region of the Indo-Pacific’ was jointly organised by CUTS International, Unnayan Shamannay, US Department of State and in partnership with Unnayan Shamannay, Bangladesh, Bhutan Media and Communications Institute and Nepal Economic Forum at a city hotel, said a press release.
‘The BBIN MVA will directly and indirectly benefit the economies of these countries, there is an imperative to look beyond the agenda of building roads and simple exchange of traffic rights. It should be enabled with appropriate regulatory, financial and digital connectivity among individuals, businesses and government,’ said Bipul Chatterjee, executive director, CUTS International.
Atiur Rahman, chairman of Unnayan Shamannay, said: ‘Bangladesh has always been in favour of open regionalism and the present political equations among the governments of these countries are conducive towards an effective implementation of the BBIN MVA,’
Pete Gauthier, Private Enterprise Officer at the Economic Growth Office of the US Agency for International Development, Bangladesh mentioned that any sub-regional cooperation should always look at how to create a win-win situation for all stakeholders involved.
Speakers at the dialogue said although the framework agreement for the initiative was signed in 2015, it was yet to be implemented for a number of challenges including infrastructure deficit, differences in regulations and trust deficit among its signatories.
Selima Ahmed, president of Bangladesh Women Chamber of Commerce and Industry, emphasised the need for developing women-friendly policies and infrastructure to encourage more women to participate in trade once the BBIN MVA comes into effect.
Mohammad Razzaque of Research Director of the Policy Research Institute of Bangladesh said there should be clarity among the policy-makers about why a policy was framed and there was no point improving border infrastructure if countries kept resorting to various trade restrictive measures.